Something For Someone:  Managers Contribute To The Community

Something For Someone: Managers Contribute To The Community

  Two years ago I began volunteering at the Ruth Kanner Theatre Group, a small band of talented actors who have been together for years. The group is led by Prof. Ruth Kanner, who has been creating experimental theatre productions since the early

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Yaniv-Shirazi-CEO--Strauss-Water-Israel

 

Two years ago I began volunteering at the Ruth Kanner Theatre Group, a small band of talented actors who have been together for years. The group is led by Prof. Ruth Kanner, who has been creating experimental theatre productions since the early 1980s. All of them treat their work with the utmost reverence, challenging the audience with a different, groundbreaking way of thinking.   I had followed Kanner’s work for years. After every performance, I would leave the theatre with the feeling that this was the most interesting thing I’d seen, and that I simply had to go see it again. Their thought provoking work defies convention in the way that good art is meant to.   At a certain point I met Ruth through a mutual acquaintance, and I found out that the members of the group made do with a very low salary, no adequate social benefits, and besides acting, they also worked in the group’s productions and as stagehands so that they could practice their art without compromising. I decided to join them in the capacity of someone from the business world, my goal being to incorporate them, systemize their activity, and enable them to flourish artistically while making a reasonable living. Along with other volunteers, most of them longstanding, experienced practitioners of the arts, we formed a nonprofit and for the first time, the group’s activity was properly and formally organized.   As a member of the executive committee I attend meetings once a month and try to help out on an ad hoc basis with specific matters where I can contribute. The executive committee also recruited an accountant, lawyers and an internal auditor – all of them volunteers. My choice to give of my time and energy in the art world is a personal preference, but I believe that we all have a moral obligation to take action and positively influence the society in which we live with the aim of making it a healthier society. I believe that art is vital to the cultural wellbeing of every society.   Often, we aren’t sure that we have anything to contribute in spheres that are unrelated to the core of what we do professionally, but it is precisely the encounter with new content worlds that enables us to discover things about those worlds, and about ourselves. I was lucky enough to meet fascinating, special people, and not only to influence but – perhaps mainly – to be influenced by their inspiration, loyalty to their art and the joy they derive from what they do. I enjoy every moment and hope to continue to contribute more and more value.   To Local Tales website>>  

 

Debora-Meczyk--VP-Human-Resources--Strauss-Israel

 

Social Magic was established five years ago with the aim of helping people in extreme financial distress, a situation that leads to distress in other areas of life as well – family, legal aspects, et cetera.   Social Magic applies the ACT (Assistance Communities for Transformation) model, in which volunteers from various organizations help people who are struggling to cope with severe hardship. We have also established a community of this kind within Strauss; any employee who wants to join is assigned someone from within the Company who helps him to deal with the complexities of his life – financial conduct, realization of social rights, etc. The volunteer accompanies the participant for a whole year through weekly sessions in which they discuss relevant issues and try to cope with the challenges together.   The community includes legal and economic consultants, social workers and other professionals who accompany volunteers and participants and help with the different problems that arise in the process.   I’m a great believer in mutual help, and I think it is our obligation – and the obligation of everyone who is in a position of strength, has achieved a good quality of life and is able – to help others in a less fortunate position. We’re all susceptible to experiencing a reversal of our situation and must be there for each other, because together, it’s easier and simpler to cope.   Volunteering is a powerful experience. The fact that you can take the resources you have at Strauss and place them at the disposal of a worthy cause, make people stronger and improve their quality of life, is very satisfying. What we consider a small achievement means the world to others. Besides, it isn’t always clear who is giving and who is receiving. When you help other people, a whole world opens up and what we get is no less than what we give. I’m profoundly grateful to have been given this opportunity.   To the Social Magic website>>

 

Eyal-Shimoni-CTO--Strauss-Group-Corporate-Center

 

I am a volunteer at Friend of Education, a nonprofit that was established about ten years ago and benefits from the help of one Israel’s least exploited resources – senior citizens. We’re talking about over two thousand people who visit schools and help children enhance their sense of capability. The endeavor is carried out in conjunction with the local educational systems and has great value for the senior citizens, who feel they are able to help the community; great value for the schoolchildren, who benefit from the presence and support of another adult; and, of course, great value for the Ministry of Education, which saves millions of shekels each year. I have been a volunteer at the nonprofit for a year as part of the JDC’s Synergy project, which integrates executives from business firms in the third sector. I looked for somewhere I could contribute and deliver value. You can’t sit there and say that one area or another needs improvement and do nothing to make it happen, and it’s unacceptable that people will retire at 67 and no longer be relevant. They really want to pitch in and do their bit, and society should take advantage of this.   One of the things that greatly surprised me is that I’m a technology person, and my volunteer work requires me to deal with business development or strategy, which are not my core competencies. I discovered that I can make a contribution not only in my direct area of occupation, and I myself am gaining experience in new spheres. Everyone has that 25th hour in their day. The question is if they want to wake up to it and what they want to do in that hour.   To the  Yadid La Chinuch website>>